Antioch man and woman, Bay Point woman arrested, charged for multiple sexual assaults, including teen girls at Antioch motel

Antioch man arrested for rape

By Sergeant Tom Fuhrmann, Antioch Police Investigations Bureau

On February 14, 2016 Antioch Officers were dispatched to the Economy Inn at 520 E. 18th Street for a 16 year old girl that had been drugged and sexually assaulted. When Officers arrived they contacted an 18 year old girl from Brentwood and a 16 year old girl from Antioch in the parking lot and quickly learned the 16 year old had likely been sexually assaulted in one of the rooms.

Economy Inn

Economy Inn

Officers contacted a male in the room, 43 year old Cori Murphy of Antioch and two women, 27 year old Rose Ann Pennell of Bay Point and 23 year old Sarah Denzer of Antioch. The 16 and 18 year old victims described running into Pennell on February 13 and that she was a family acquaintance of one of the girls. Pennell invited them to her hotel room to hang out. When they got to the hotel, Denzer and Murphy were there, but the girls did not know them.

The girls were given alcohol and other open bottles of soda that they drank from and drugs, as well. The 16 year went unconscious at some point that afternoon. The 18 year old was dropped off that evening at another area business in an altered state of mind for her father to pick her up. It is not believed she was assaulted.

On February 14, when the 18 year old woke up at home she realized her 16 year old friend had been left behind at the hotel and she was concerned. She had her father take her to the hotel, where she found the 16 year old groggy and partially unclothed. The 16 year old victim had some recollection of being sexually assaulted and raped throughout the night by both Pennell and Murphy. Pennell, Murphy and Denzer all denied anything sexual happened.

Pennell and Murphy were both arrested without incident and booked into County Jail. There was no evidence linking Denzer to the sexual assault at the time and she was released.

On February 16, 2016 the case was presented to the Office of the District Attorney, but charges were not filed as much forensic evidence examination still need to be conducted to corroborate the victim’s statement.

On July 19, while examining additional evidence on this case an additional victim was identified. The additional victim is a 14 year old girl from Antioch and was drugged, sexually assaulted and raped at the same location on February 8, 2016. In this case Denzer was implicated as well as Murphy and Pennell.

Investigators had a warrant issued for Denzer and she was located and arrested on August 19, 2016. On August 23, the entire case involving both sexual assault victims was presented to the Office of the District Attorney along with DNA and other forensic evidence. The D.A.’s office filed 18 felony charges against Murphy, Pennell and Denzer. With Denzer still in custody the D.A. issued arrest warrants for Murphy and Pennell.

On August 24, Murphy approached an Antioch Police Officer seeking civil advice on how to get property back that rightfully belonged to him. During this encounter the Officer learned of the outstanding warrant for Murphy and took him into custody without incident. Before transporting Murphy from his arrest location Officers checked his purple Plymouth Voyager van and located a 32 year old Martinez woman in the back of his van. She was incoherent and was partially disrobed. She was taken to the hospital for an exam and this incident is currently being further in


On Saturday, August 27, Pennell was taken into custody on the warrant in Washington state. Antioch Investigators responded to Washington, where they interviewed her and transported her back and booked her into the Contra Costa County Jail. Murphy, Pennell and Denzer are being held in the Contra Costa County Jail and their bail is $4,000,000 each.

The case is still being investigated by the Antioch Police Department’s Investigations Bureau. No further information will be released at this time.

If there are any unknown additional victims of Murphy, Pennell and Denzer, we ask that they reach out to our Investigator.  Anyone with information regarding this case is encouraged to call Detective Perkinson with the Antioch Police Department at (925) 779-6932. You may also text a tip to 274637 (CRIMES) using key word ANTIOCH.

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Economy Inn

Antioch man arrested for rape

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